We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Friday, February 11, 2011

World reacts as Mubarak steps down

from Al Jazeera

The picture in this article of Obama reportedly "watching history unfold" says a lot about the concern that the US ruling class has for this great event. Besides their noises about concern for "democracy", US leaders have voiced serious concern about an "orderly and managed transition to democracy" (American style). The whole Egyptian military and state apparatus has been created by Mubarak with the support of the US. Can we expect that the Egyptian people, having tasted real power, are going to go back to their jobs and other daily activities leaving this structure intact? I don't think so.

The US has tremendous influence over the hierarchy of the Egyptian military, but does the Egyptian hierarchy have control over their armies? During the last few weeks the people of Egypt have been fraternizing with the front line troops, and who knows where their allegiance lies? Mubarak and Suleiman evidently didn't trust them to respond to orders. Because the Empire leadership was unable to engineer a quick change of satraps in Egypt and because of the intelligence and bravery of the Egyptian people, the Empire leadership now have a real problem on their hands--and I mean the real leadership (for example, see this and this), not the formal US leadership. 

Obama functions as the public relations officer for the Empire. He, including his advisers, Press Secretary, speechwriters, etc., only have to worry about giving out the right messages to cover the deeds of those who control actions. However, the worried expression on Obama's face in the picture symbolizes perfectly the concern of the directors of the Empire.
The investment in the Egyptian military as a bulwark of regional influence has made sense for U.S. strategic needs: preserving the Egypt-Israel peace accord and projecting U.S. military forces into the Persian Gulf to safeguard energy supplies. 
This victory today, as great as it was, was only a battle. The revolutionary victory for the Egyptian people is not yet finished.